After a wonky awards season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Academy Awards are set to look more traditional than recent ceremonies. The 2021 Oscars will be held in person in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 25 — and Us Weekly has rounded up everything you need to know about the show.
Typically held in late February or early March, the Oscars were pushed back as other ceremonies were delayed amid the COVID-19 crisis. While the Oscars aren’t going virtual, the show will take place at two locations, with guests attending at Union Station in L.A. and other live elements filming from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood (the show’s traditional location).
Oscars producers Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins addressed the decision to make the Oscars an “intimate, in-person” event in a letter to nominees in March.
“Of course, your first thought is CAN THAT BE DONE SAFELY? The answer is YES, IT CAN,” the letter read. “We are treating the event as an active movie set, with specially designed testing cadences to ensure up-to-the-minute results, including an on-site COVID safety team with PCR testing capability. There will be specific instructions for those of you traveling in from outside of Los Angeles and other instructions for those of you who are already based in Los Angeles. This will all come directly to you from the Academy to ensure you have a safe, carefree evening (a glimpse of the future?).”
The producers added that there “will not be an option to Zoom in for the show,” a statement that got backlash from some Academy members.
“We are going to great lengths to provide a safe and ENJOYABLE evening for all of you in person, as well as for all the millions of film fans around the world, and we feel the virtual thing will diminish those efforts,” the letter continued.
While the SAGs and Golden Globes gave viewers a glimpse into stars’ homes (and casual fashion), the Oscars made it clear that the Academy Awards still require glitz and glam: ”We’re aiming for a fusion of Inspirational and Aspirational, which in actual words means formal is totally cool if you want to go there, but casual is really not.”
After the letter made headlines, the Academy added more options for nominees, including a London venue.
“We’re so sorry for the frustration that our silence has caused. It’s not because we don’t care. It’s not because we aren’t listening or that we’ve been caught off guard by the complexities of the show,” producer Soderbergh said in a press conference on March 30. “Every day since the nominations came out, we’ve had an internal debate whether to release information about what we’re doing even though that information is often etched in Jell-O.”
Scroll through for more details of the 93rd annual Academy Awards: